Open Thread: Democracy, Down at the Pointy End

The (lazy, bothsiderist) NYTimes is forced to notice — “At Town Halls, Doses of Fury and a Bottle of Tums“:

FAIRVIEW, Tenn. — Representative Marsha Blackburn may have expected to draw a friendly crowd by scheduling a town hall-style meeting in a Tennessee community that had voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, but she instead faced a hurricane-strength blast of disapproval on Tuesday.

Ms. Blackburn, an eight-term Republican, was sharply questioned about a wide range of issues that have unsettled Mr. Trump’s first month in office, including health care, the environment, education and the president’s links to Russia.

At many moments, her replies elicited boos or shouts to “tell the truth.”…

Ms. Blackburn, who represents a safe Republican seat west of Nashville, was among the latest wave of Washington lawmakers to face angry constituents in what, inevitably but perhaps prematurely, has been called a progressive echo of the Tea Party anger that boiled over in town halls eight years ago.

During the first weeklong recess of the new Congress, many Republicans have chosen not to hold events at all, wary of protests that might greet them…

Apart from cheering democracy, what’s on the agenda for the day?

145 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    Country before Party. That’s something to go with, I think.

  2. 2
    billcoop4 says:

    Country before Party. That’s something to go with, I think.

    Which is why we must make common cause with the Evan McMullins–the sane conservatives (both of them, it seems). And the sane BernieBros, too.


  3. 3
    EriktheRed says:

    Like i said last night, local Dems in my area had a town hall where Rep[. Adam Kinzinger was invited but didn’t show up (surprise!), so they just put an empty suit onstage with a picture of his face on it. We all asked questions and gave “Adam” a piece of our minds and the host would hold the mic up to the stage and ask for his response.

    Good times, good times.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    I love the holding up of the State ID.
    Try again, muthaphucka

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Hope that you had alerted the local media. They love stories like this.

  7. 7
    debbie says:


    They had an empty suit town hall with Pat Tiberi. He claims he’s not hiding because he’s had private meetings in his office with his constituents. Worm.

    ETA: We could rebrand the GOP as the Party of Empty Suits.

  8. 8
    randy khan says:


    Showing the IDs really is a nice touch.

    We have to remember that this is largely theater – almost all of these people are going to return to Washington and vote the way they’ve been planning to vote for years – but the point of the theater is to establish that they don’t care what their constituents want, which will affect their chances at re-election. And, heck, if we move a couple of them (particularly in the Senate) to vote the right way, that will be a win, too.

  9. 9
    Sab says:

    @debbie: constituents, or donors?

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    The guy who beat Cantor had a Townhall 60 miles from where over 70% of his voters are, in the most remote part of his district.

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.


    sane BernieBros

    A semantic point, but there are technically no sane BernieBros. There are, however, many sane Bernie supporters.

  12. 12
    debbie says:


    Either, probably, but definitely GOPers.

  13. 13
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    Here in Misery, Roy Fucking Blunt has been a no-show. With good reason. Missouri politics is a hellhole of racism, arrogance, machine influence, christian fundies and outright crazy people. Blunt should normally thrive in that environment. In an election when Twitler throttled Clinton at the polls, again for the reasons just mentioned, Blunt won by less than 3%. He only won because of Cheetoh Donnie.

    But we won’t see him here. Not that we did much before. He effectively lives in DC.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: One doesn’t have to be a coward to be a Republican. But it helps.

  15. 15
    Hal says:


    It’s only been a month since an Iowa lawmaker proposed ending tenure at the state’s public institutions, and two weeks since state legislators published a bill that would gut collective bargaining for faculty members. Now another legislator wants to enforce what he calls “partisan balance” among Iowa’s faculty members. Iowa Republican Senator Mark Chelgren’s bill would require that no professor or instructor be hired if his or her most recent party affiliation would “cause the percentage of the faculty belonging to one political party to exceed by 10 percent” the percentage of the faculty belonging to the other dominant party. Politically undeclared professors would not be included in the tally.
    Chelgren wants the state’s commissioner of elections to provide voter registration data to colleges and universities once a year to help enforce his plan. It’s no secret that the bill would likely adversely affect Democrats, since academics tend to swing to the political left. Others have criticized what they call academe’s lack of “intellectual” or “ideological” diversity, but Chelgren’s proposal takes such concerns to another level. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, including about what he’d do if swaths of professors took advantage of the ‘no party’ loophole. There’s already been some negative reaction to the bill, with the liberal political blog Iowa Starting Line calling it an “ideological litmus test.”

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: Sounds like we need a new “contract with america” to “sweep the corruption out of DC” by electing local democrats to unseat “distant” and “uncaring” republicans.

  17. 17
    billcoop4 says:


    A semantic point, but there are technically no sane BernieBros. There are, however, many sane Bernie supporters.

    I live in hope.


  18. 18
    different-church-lady says:

    Live by populist rage, die by populist rage.

  19. 19
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Hal: Disgusting attempt to intimidate Professors because of their political affiliations. Are we living in a dictatorship now?

    It’s no secret that the bill would likely adversely affect Democrats, since academics tend to swing to the political left.

    Obviously. Why would a Republican put forth such a bill otherwise?

  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    LOVE the idea of running against “empty suits”…LOVE the voters holding up their IDs…LOVE it when these folks take the time to alert the local media (heck, the national media too, why not?!?). These jerkoffs deserve to reap the whirlwind, and we can keep it up all the way through 2018 and beyond!

    Dem leaders: your voters are taking charge and taking names. You might want to be quite steadfast in your opposition to Trump Tea Party bullshit, from the Gorsuch Stolen Nomination to anything & everything that comes out of the Pruit EPA.

  21. 21
    Jeffro says:

    @Hal: So, a party litmus test in order to get a state job, essentially. Sure, that’ll pass muster with the courts.

    Jesus, these people…

  22. 22
    Eric S. says:

    I love the state ID pick. I love those organized, paid crowds. 😼

    For me, the countdown continues. Six days until shoulder surgery to re-repair my rotator cuff. The weather continues to be unseasonably hot in Chicago. Looking at maybe 70 today. I think one more drive, this time to and from work, before my shifting arm is out of commission.

  23. 23

    @Hal: Lord help us. This won’t go beyond where it is now, but it shows how emboldened Rs are.

  24. 24
    Chat Noir says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: I was at a “where’s Roy?” gathering yesterday outside his Clayton, MO, office. Good noontime crowd that had a respectful tone. There’s more planning going on for future events like this.

  25. 25
    Paul in KY says:

    The place where the Senatortise had his meeting, Lawrenceburg, is a deeply red town about 8 miles from the state capital (Frankfort). Makes me feel good to see the reception he got there.

  26. 26
    germy says:

    The first clip, the one with Mitch confronted by the angry woman. Coal jobs not coming back, no insurance, sick veterans… the woman is distraught.

    And Mitch stands there with a smirk on his face? And at the end of her comment he grins?

    If I were faced with someone that upset, I wouldn’t be smirking like that. What the fuck is up with Mitch?

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @germy: He knows they’ll never vote Dem. He can smirk all he wants. He is untouchable.

  28. 28
    JMG says:

    @germy: He’s a horrible person who gets off on the suffering of others. That simple.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    It’s worth it just to poke Trump. He has a huge, fragile ego and demands to be liked. Nothing bothers him more than to be seen as unpopular because it’s a rejection and one he thinks is personal. This is different than other Presidents. There were huge protests against Bush and of course Obama had the Tea Party but one never felt they took it personally. Trump takes it personally. I don’t know if you’ve ever been involved in a stalker situation- been stalked, heard about one, but to me there’s a real stalker element in Trump. I’ve seen tens of them in court- some worse than others and there’s this insistent quality – “like me, love me, pay attention to me” – it’s incredibly aggressive at base. It’s not about the person they’re stalking- that person disappears- it’s about the stalker being rejected – they cannot bear that. They genuinely believe is it is “not fair” that the object of their desire rejects them. They are DUE affection and the denial is taking something from them.
    Imagine Trump admitting a “shellacking” in a midterm like Obama did. That will never, ever happen. That would be crushing to him so he’d just deny it.

  30. 30
    laura says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning back atcha!

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    @Eric S.:
    Good luck with the surgery.

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    A poll was released for the Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, and Jon Ossoff is ahead. There’s a good chance that he will win the April 18th election, but won’t receive the 50 percent necessary to prevent a runoff. It’s a 60/40 district and unless Trump continues to endanger us all, I don’t see him winning the runoff.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @JPL: unless Trump continues to endanger us all, I don’t see him winning the runoff.

    So an excellent chance for a pick-up, then.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    The Tea Party was an astro-turfed “movement” paid for by the Koch brothers

  36. 36
    Baud says:


    unless Trump continues to endanger us all, I don’t see him winning the runoff.

    So an excellent chance for a pick-up, then.

    ETA: Fixed blockquote problem in prior comment.

  37. 37
    chris says:

    Won’t let me edit, sorry about the tag.

  38. 38
    Baud says:


    Projection is a standard tactic with them.

  39. 39
    amk says:

    outside the intertubes, is the lame stream media even showing these protests since most of the clueless seem clued in only to lsm?

  40. 40
    Lapassionara says:

    @Chat Noir: there was a similar event at 10 am that I attended. About 50 to 60 people, most with handmade signs similar to women’s March. We learned about the noon rally when we arrived. I wished I had had time to do both. Sorry we did not think to bring an empty suit. Lots of thumbs up from the cars passing by.

    PS good morning.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @amk: I don’t watch a ton of media, but from what I can tell, coverage has been decent.

  42. 42


    He is untouchable.

    Maybe the dead girl, live boy might get him.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: It’s all going according to plan. That’s why he’s smiling.

  44. 44
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning!

    @Eric S.: best of luck on the surgery, and enjoy the heck out of that drive today!

  45. 45
    Nora says:

    Don’t you just love the New York Times’ “inevitably but perhaps prematurely”? They really can’t bear to consider that this is the real thing.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @Nora: I caught that too. They are garbage.

  47. 47
    satby says:

    The indivisible group here in South Bend is putting up “missing” signs and planning a town hall without their local Tea Party Republican representative Jackie Walorski, who has been AWOL from meeting constituents since November.

  48. 48
    Shalimar says:

    @Hal: That sounds like it could backfire on them. If most of the Democrats register as independents but all of the Republicans are too proud of their party to do likewise, you could end up for example with 22 Democrats, 35 Republicans and 43 Independents and that school would not be able to hire any more Republicans.

  49. 49
    Betty Cracker says:

    @EriktheRed: There’s a “town hall” with a cardboard likeness of Marco Rubio in Tampa tonight since the real Lil’ Marco is too chickenshit to come face his constituents. I have to miss it, though. Birfday dinner!

  50. 50

    @randy khan:

    We have to remember that this is largely theater – almost all of these people are going to return to Washington and vote the way they’ve been planning to vote for years – but the point of the theater is to establish that they don’t care what their constituents want, which will affect their chances at re-election.

    The “almost” matters, too. If the Democrats can hold together as a caucus, doesn’t take that many Republican defections to derail a lot of their agenda, especially with the Freedumb Caucus voting against some of their stuff because it’s insufficiently crazy.

  51. 51
    MomSense says:

    I love these town halls so much. Stay on them!

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: Happy birthday, BC!

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @amk: Yes.

  54. 54
    Hal says:

    @Nora: I caught that too. Gotta make sure they’re fair and balanced!

  55. 55
    satby says:

    @Shalimar: aside from the fact that voting records are supposed to be private.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @satby: Party registration is not private.

  57. 57
    Lee says:

    I wonder if it is starting to sink in that there are more of us than there are of them?

  58. 58


    Iowa Republican Senator Mark Chelgren’s bill would require that no professor or instructor be hired if his or her most recent party affiliation would “cause the percentage of the faculty belonging to one political party to exceed by 10 percent” the percentage of the faculty belonging to the other dominant party.

    So Republicans are demanding affirmative action for conservatives at academic institutions because it’s the only way they can get hired.

  59. 59
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Yep. That’s why he can’t accept that he lost the popular vote and keeps lying about it. If he’s still around in 2018 and the Repubs get pounded at the polls (please FSM make it so!), he’ll blame everyone but himself for that too.

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @Lee: They’ve always known that. Hence, voter suppression and support for “both sides”-ism.

  61. 61
    Another Scott says:

    @Betty Cracker: HBD!

    We look forward to a picture of your latest wine foil sculpture!

    Look out for bob-tailed cougars dragging sharks.


  62. 62
    Hal says:

    I can’t copy and paste from Twitter, but this take on supposed liberal bias in academia is pretty spot on:

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Kay says:


    Right, but Obama and Bush were whole people. Adulation is nice but they can and do carry on without it.

    Trump can’t. He’s not whole- has missing pieces. That’s why he has to repeat how he won over and over and why he says every critic or opponent is “unfair” and that’s (mostly) why he lies so much.

    It’s sometimes shocking to me, how self-centered these sorts of people are. Have you seen that clip of Melania and Trump coming down the stairs of the plane? Wow. It’s like she’s not there.

  65. 65
    satby says:

    @Roger Moore: If they thought they could get away with requiring that all hires be members of the Republican party they would.

  66. 66
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lee: They have known that for a long time. That’s why they work so hard at voter suppression and gerrymandering.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    liberal says:

    @Roger Moore: yeah. Good luck finding Republican mathematicians, physicists, cell biologists, …

  69. 69
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    The Tea Party was an astro-turfed “movement” paid for by the Koch brothers

    And the Republicans know it, that’s why they are terrified and confused by The Resistance – it has no authoritarian leader so makes no sense to them.

  70. 70
    liberal says:

    @Kay: missing pieces my ass. There’s nothing there. Billmon called him a cave of winds.

  71. 71
    Eric S. says:

    @Lee: I doubt it. Most people, regardless of party, cannot process large numbers. Add to that the bubble, the self segregation, most people have put themselves in and it is a recipe for not understanding.

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Hmmm. I’ll have to rethink my “Baud! 2020!: Authoritarian Leader of the Resistance” slogan.

  73. 73

    I know. I just want to make sure we call this by the same kind of insulting title the Republicans use to highlight the hypocrisy.

  74. 74
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Shalimar: Once they gank tenure, pay and any protections for the staff they wouldn’t need it since only Constervatard hacks would work for their university system

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Hal: Nice.

  76. 76
    manyakitty says:

    @Betty Cracker: Happy birthday! Enjoy!!!

  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    @EriktheRed: That’s wild.

  78. 78
    Kay says:


    After years of (informal!) stalker studies there are really two groups of people. There are the people who recognize this behavior as aggressive and offensive- gut level, immediately- and then there are the people who say things like what Trump’s team says “he has a good heart”, “he’s a good guy”. We heard this divide when the “pussy grabber” tape came out. I mean, good Lord. Does unwanted attention get more aggressive and belligerent than “pussy grabber”? It’s like the definition. But to a whole group of people that’s “wanting to be liked” or something.

    I feel like his supporters are like him and that’s why they don’t see it.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hal: I’m so old I can remember when conservatives thought hiring quotas were bad things.

  81. 81
    rumpole says:

    I subscribe to Mike Allen’s newsletter for work. Today’s choice piece of “pass the Prestone” was the White House staff saying that the press ought to be cutting them some slack because Trump is not a politician and is new to government and his staff doesn’t know washington. “He said he could fix it but he and his people really don’t know what they are doing! Give him a break! W[h]inning! Look-over there–a Mexican!”

    Remember when Obama and Bush’s staff begged the media to lay off because their bosses didn’t know what they were doing?

    Me neither.

    Скажите, пожалуйста, где бар?*
    *Tell me please, where is a bar?

  82. 82
    Denali says:

    @Betty Cracker,
    Happy Birthday to you!

  83. 83
    NobodySpecial says:

    This is the best way to start your day.

  84. 84
    ThresherK says:

    @Betty Cracker: Congrats. Enjoy your day. Photo of cake, if applicable, would not be seen as bragging or gloating to us minions.

  85. 85
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: Happy birthday yo!

  86. 86

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    I think you underestimate the number of academics who are desperate for any job. For example, there are plenty of them who would happily register as Republicans regardless of their actual political feelings if they thought it would help them get a job.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:


    I don’t watch a ton of media, but from what I can tell, coverage has been decent.

    I agree. I think because this is happening all across the country, the key is that we’ve gotten local coverage. And, so much local coverage that is perks up to the national coverage. If the MSM could ignore it, they would, as they did the Wisconsin protests against Walker. Only person who covered those consistently were Maddow and Larry O. Rest of the MSM pretended that they didn’t happen, while they fawned over any gathering of the so-called Tea Party. That this is happening all over the country confuses them.

  88. 88
    Tripod says:

    Idiots are going to blow up their higher education systems. Trump states are dependent on student imports.

    The US U7 population is minority majority.

    California has the wealth to pay for multiple state systems. Iowa does not.

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    What if Conservatives Really Were Pro-Life?
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 22, 2017 8:05 AM

    Corinne Segal has an important story about how marriage equality is saving lives.

    State legalization of same-sex marriage appears to be linked to a decrease in adolescent suicide, based on a new analysis published today in JAMA Pediatrics. The results give more context to the potential effects of social policy on mental health.

    The researchers found that suicide attempts by high school students decreased by 7 percent in states after they passed laws to legalize same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court legalized it nationwide in 2015. Among LGB high school students, the decrease was especially concentrated, with suicide attempts falling by 14 percent.

    But in states that did not legalize same-sex marriage, there was no change.

    Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second for people aged 10 to 24. But young LGB people are particularly affected, attempting suicide at four times the rate of straight youth, according to the Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicide among LGBT youth.


    Speaking of substance abuse treatment, that saves lives too.

    The ACA has been particularly important for those seeking addiction treatment, says Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University psychiatry professor who advised the Obama administration on drug policy. “It was designed to be very broad, but at the same time we knew that if there was anything that this would help a lot for, it’s addiction,” he says.

    Before the ACA went into effect, a third of individual market insurance policies didn’t cover substance abuse treatment, including medications like buprenorphine that have proven critical to keeping former opioid users off of drugs. The ACA deemed substance abuse and mental health treatment to be essential health benefits, and now insurance plans are required to cover them. In states that expanded Medicaid, 20 percent of hospital admissions for substance abuse and mental health disorders were uninsured in 2013, before the bulk of the expansion provisions kicked in. By the middle of 2015, the uninsured rate had fallen to five percent.

    In addition, Obamacare covers Americans who are are most at risk of becoming addicted to opioids: People with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line have a 50 percent higher risk of having an opioid problem than people with higher incomes. Humphreys adds that most users start using heroin or pain-killers when they’re young. Since the ACA lets children stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26, it’s easier for young users to access treatment.

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    DHS Employees Couldn’t Access Their Own Computers Today
    by Josh Alvarez
    February 21, 2017 7:36 PM

    President Trump is expected to sign a new version of his executive order banning refugees and immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations sometime this week. Implementation of the order will largely fall to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), specifically US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On Trump’s first attempt, DHS was taken completely by surprise and chaos ensued in airports around the country, including reports that some DHS officers defied federal court orders.

    But events earlier today show DHS still might not be ready to carry out Trump’s sweeping immigration policies. Reuters reported that DHS employees in the DC-area, including some in USCIS, were sent home today after they were denied entry into their own computers. In a statement, a DHS official confirmed four U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) facilities in the Washington area were affected.

    A source familiar with the situation told me that workers in the DC and Philadelphia areas, and possibly other areas in the East Coast, were also denied access to their computers.

    This wasn’t the result of a hack. In order to access their network, DHS employees have to enter personal identify verification (PIV) cards as well as credentials. That information is then sent to a domain controller that verifies the data and then grants access to the network. The problem was the domain controller couldn’t be contacted because its certificate had expired, something that “could’ve been easily renewed in a matter of minutes and should have been done weeks ahead of time,” the source said. “It’s a recurring to-do that should not have caught anyone by surprise.” As a result, at least one entire building in a DC-area campus was cleared out today.

  91. 91

    @Roger Moore: Ding, ding! Sign me up, comrade.
    @Tripod: These people have no understanding of what makes America great. They are destroying the very foundation of what makes this country unique.

  92. 92
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: The one at the WH blew me away. He’s bounding up the steps to paw the Obamas while Melania is barely out the car. Then he rushes inside ahead of everyone, so eager to make the guard salute him. Was not the president yet, except in his mind.

  93. 93
    rikyrah says:

    This is the curve that Kay talks about so often:

    Quick Takes: Some People Can’t Give Up On the Idea of a Trump Pivot
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 21, 2017 7:00 PM

    For the writers at NBC’s First Read, the hope of an eventual Trump pivot lives on.

    After a chaotic and controversial first month in office, President Trump’s week has the potential for a bit of a reset — a new national security adviser, a revised travel ban, even a stop this morning at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. But here’s the $64,000 question: Can Trump enjoy a no-drama week? The stakes are important, given that Congress is on recess with many of its members holding town halls across the country, and given that Trump’s approval rating stands at historic lows for a new president. This week is a big opportunity for the president and his team. Can they seize it?

    I can answer that question with one word: No. What we are likely experiencing is the depressive side of Trump’s manic/depressive tendencies after he let loose over the weekend. If you can point me to a time in the president’s history when he seized the opportunity to become “no-drama,” I’m all ears.

  94. 94
    rikyrah says:

    POLITICS SPECIAL REPORTS | Mon Dec 5, 2016 | 9:39pm EST
    Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations

    Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves.

    Now, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews.

    The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership – a politically explosive idea that could upend more than century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations, which are governed by tribal leaders as sovereign nations.

  95. 95

    @Aleta: Can’t say I feel sorry for M. She had to know what she was getting into.

  96. 96
    bupalos says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Exactly this.

    There are parts of the townhall stuff that are great and work for us. There are parts that are not. Clearly part of the Trump paradigm and probably strategy (such as that exists) is to throw so much out there that the opposition to it is unfocussed and concentrated fire can’t be brought to bear. That happens micro and macro. I know seeing these slugs get screamed at feels good, but when it happens like that (i.e. coal miners need the aca AND what about this veterans mess AND i’ll just shut up because that’s what you make women do) McTurtlefuck and the rest of the Trumpublicans are given an out. They don’t actually have to address the issue. To a less interested 3rd party (I guess I’m assuming this still exists) it also stops looking like a sincere concern for the issues and more like a simple expression of identity in this us-vs.-them game that they’re working.

    And please, no flaming that I’m being soft on terror. That woman’s anger is real and I don’t doubt her concern for each issue is very real and there’s a good chance if I had to drive an hour and sit in a crowded loud room and wait forever for my chance to get a half a word in edgewise in the face of this onslaught of total suck and destruction of my country’s principles, I’d lose focus and go for the kitchen sink vent too. I’m talking about political tactics and effectiveness and why I think McTurtlefuck is smiling.

  97. 97
    Aleta says:

    @Betty Cracker: Happy birthday. 2/22 is a cool date to have for a birthday.

  98. 98
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    I’m holding out hope for Trump to have his meltdown before the only audience he CAN’T control by having security or crowd goons toss them out.

    SOTU, Sunday.

  99. 99
    rikyrah says:

    Lips Pursed.

    This GOP Media Survey Is More Propaganda Than Poll
    Republicans are looking to bolster Trump’s ‘enemy of the people’ declaration.

    by Stefan Hankin
    February 21, 2017 4:45 PM

    Not long after President Donald Trump declared the media the “enemy of the people,” the Republican Party released a “poll” on the Donald J Trump website, entitled the “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey.”

    It’s fairly obvious that the results of this effort will be used to bolster the President’s attacks against the press. As propaganda, the results of this survey might work to rally the Trump faithful, but it in no way resembles a serious piece of opinion research. As a professional pollster, I can confidently state that this survey pushes the very definition of what a survey is and violates just about every principle of polling.

    For starters, there is the question of who is being surveyed. No poll is valid unless the sample reflects an accurate cross-section of the population (what’s called a “representative sample”). The short version is that the people taking the survey should reflect the entire population you are trying to reach. So if you are conducting a national survey of registered voters, you want to make sure that the gender, age, ethnicity, location and other demographic details of the people you are surveying are proportional to the population at large. If 53 percent of registered voters are female, for example, the same should be true of your sample. On top of this, we also typically use “quotas” to make sure that we speak to the right number of women, registered voters under the age of 30, etc., so that the results are not biased. For example, having too many liberal Democrats in your sample will bias the results. Quotas also ensure that we are not just surveying people who are home and willing to answer their phone at a certain time.

  100. 100
    geg6 says:

    Beaver County had an empty suit rally for Keith Rothfus:

  101. 101

    @rikyrah: MSM bots need to read the draconian DHS memos signed by the sainted General Kelly. Then report back on the so called pivot.

  102. 102
    JMG says:

    @rikyrah: Washington journalism cannot escape the “President Faces Life” soap opera they have been using as a theme since Truman’s time. Hacks gotta be hackneyed.

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    MSNBC LIVE 2/19/17
    White House: Stephen Miller is not available
    Ari Melber invited Stephen Miller, senior adviser to the president, to come on MSNBC after Miller said he was “prepared to go any show, anywhere, anytime” to talk about voter fraud

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:


    Here is the clip of Maxine Waters on Chris Hayes, calling Dolt45’s people SCUMBAGS.
    Hayes clutched the pearls, and Maxine was like… I.SAID.WHAT.I.SAID.



    Rep. Maxine Waters: Trump advisors with Russia ties are ..
    The Democratic congresswoman from California calls the president’s friends and advisors with ties to Russia and oil and gas interests ‘a bunch of scumbags.’

  105. 105
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Well, crap – jumper on the parking garage next to my damn building again. It’s a strategic spot destined to fuck up the entire downtown grid. I had to skip the office stop and push around to Federal Court.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    Yes, Trump’s Aide Really Did Throw “White Power” Sign

    By SemDem
    Tuesday Feb 21, 2017 · 8:10 PM PST
    2017/02/21 ·

    Take a look at the guy in the picture. That’s Steve Miller, senior advisor to Donald Trump. He’s also an avowed racist. Don’t take my word for it—that’s what his friends and family say. He hasn’t been quiet about it at all: he has openly disparaged blacks, Latinos, and Asians throughout his school career, from high school to Duke University, where he palled around with white supremacist leader Richard Spencer. He continued his racist streak when he interned with Jeff Sessions and now spends his days trying to out-bigot the other white supremacist named Steve in Trump’s White House. No wonder David Duke adores him.

    Now look at the picture. I used a screen grab for the very same shot of Miller that was used in the headlines for The Guardian, New York Daily, and Washington Post just to name a few. He made headlines that day for defending the Muslim ban by saying Trump’s actions “will not be questioned”!


    You might think that’s an odd natural gesture to make. And it is. What Steve is doing is completely intentional:

    The right hand, on top, is showing just three fingers: “W”.
    His left hand curls to make the “P” formation.
    WP. White Power. White nationalists know exactly what that sign means.
    According to the Anti-Defamation League, this is a common white supremacist hand sign “particularly” used in California. (Stephen Miller is from Santa Monica.)

  107. 107
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: Saw that live — it was glorious!

  108. 108
    raven says:

    Burning tents at Standing Rock.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    MomSense says:


    If ever there were a Nazi who deserved a good punch Captain America style, Miller is it.

  111. 111
    Betty Cracker says:

    Thanks for the birthday greetings, y’all. Regarding bobcats — my husband saw a great big one the other day next to a pond. He got a picture, but it’s a Cole-quality phone photo.

  112. 112
    geg6 says:


    McTurtlefuck isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. What is happening at these events is that women and men like that woman are being drawn into a movement. Organizing and recruiting is happening among the protesters. It may look futile to you and ol’ Mitch may think he has the upper hand and can condescend, but there is much happening under the surface and this stuff isn’t going to end. He’s going to chased down every time he shows his face. And if he decides to hide in perpetuity, he just looks weak and ineffective. Which undermines his MOU attitude. We want more and more people like that woman to come out and tell their stories and frustrations. It’s working.

  113. 113
    hedgehog mobile says:

    @satby: The Indivisible group here is planning something similar for Cory Gardner (R-Invertibrate).

  114. 114
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    Sadly, no. I now hear that it is the same one who did it each of the past two Februaries. Attention seekers.

  115. 115
    hedgehog mobile says:

    @Betty Cracker: Happy birthday!

  116. 116
    satby says:

    @Betty Cracker: Happy Birthday! Today is also the birthday of one of my favorite “sisters” not biologically related. A good day when you all were born!

  117. 117
    Jinchi says:

    Town hall scenes from Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland tonight, where voters showed up but GOP congressmen were no-shows.

    I’m curious about what happens at these crowded town-halls when the congressman doesn’t show. Do people in the crowd over? It would be great if they got people on stage to state their grievances and concerns, video tape the answers and send the video to the local media.

  118. 118

    @Betty Cracker: Happy Birthday BC and do share the bobcat pic. How are the doggies?

  119. 119
    Aleta says:


    NBC “This week is a big opportunity for the president and his team. Can they seize it?”

    Well, some of them want to seize it by making a slew of recess appointments.

    NBC reports on the potential for an unprecedented power grab by painting it as opportunity for a dignified ‘reset.’ It’s unconscionable for NBC to pretend they are informing the public.

  120. 120
    Aleta says:

    @raven: Who is burning the tents?

  121. 121
    Aleta says:

    @Jinchi: What a great idea. And for those with fear of being harassed, to provide postcards and stamps and mail off a hundred messages. Which could also be shown on video.

  122. 122
    Goku says:

    Where I live in the great state of Ohio, my County maintains a database where voting records can accessed by anyone. Includes party affiliation and a record of participation in past elections. The nice thing about it is you can request anew absentee ballot from the Board of Elections online.

  123. 123
    NickM says:

    Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is having a special election on April 17th to replace Tom Price, who joined the Trump cabinet. Trump only won the district by 1% of the vote, and the Dems may have a shot at a pickup, which would be the first post-11/8 referendum on Trump. Dem Candidate Jon Ossoff has a strong resume and from what I can tell seems to be the leading Democrat in the “jungle primary” race.

  124. 124
    randy khan says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I agree – if a few of the non-true believers begin to waver, then it could make a big difference, particularly in the Senate. I’m not counting on that, though. I see it as more of a potential bonus.

  125. 125
    Aleta says:

    @rikyrah: Trump uses the hand sign that shows he is pro racism (one hand) also. It freezes my blood.

  126. 126
    randy khan says:


    That may be why McConnell is smiling, but it’s not a good look in context, and the optics are important.

  127. 127
    The Moar You Know says:

    Darrell Issa no-showed last night. Place was packed with pissed-off constituents. Local paper said he held an “impromptu town hall” earlier in the day. Thank god the local TV, of all people were there to set the record straight.

  128. 128
    geg6 says:


    That is exactly what happened at ours.

  129. 129
    Jinchi says:


    Yes, Trump’s Aide Really Did Throw “White Power” Sign

    I’d love to see video leading up to that picture, or even better, other instances of Miller using that gesture. I’ll admit that I never heard of it and certainly wouldn’t have spotted it. It looks too much like he’s just caught in the act of adjusting his suit and tie, which gives him plausible deniability with anyone willing to ignore the words coming out of his mouth.

  130. 130
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: Best wishes on your BDay, Betty!

  131. 131
    CaseyL says:

    Happy Birthday, Betty!

    The town halls are lifting my spirits, but they’ll only make a difference if the pissed off constituents VOTE OUT the representatives who’ve pissed them off. I hope they stay angry at the right targets, and see – finally, really see – how the GOP has conned them, and will continue to con them.

  132. 132
    Jojo says:

    @debbie: If they’re having “private meetings,” then our side should show up at their district offices and have private meetings too. We’ve been doing just that at Jim Sensenbrenner’s district office, and we plan on doing it some more.

  133. 133
    Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones) says:

    @Roger Moore: This might explain it to the less involved. Here’s a great Tweetstorm from the past couple weeks going around that, in summar,y says there is no such thing as rational conservative academia anymore because they no longer have arguments, just doctrine.

    Starts here:

    Universities didn’t “turn left”; they stayed committed to rational thought.
    It was the right which turned imbecile.

    Let’s dispense with the myth that there is no place for conservatives in academia because universities are ideologically intolerant, okay?

  134. 134
    Debbie1 says:

    @rikyrah: Ah, but they voted in 2010 and 2014. I always say protests are fun, they get you on TV, and involve arts & craft signage. But the most powerful protest is with a vote, and that involves no media. Will these people show up for that protest I wonder?

  135. 135
    Jojo says:

    @bupalos: At the Sensenbrenner town halls, we have been trying a tactic of being mildly annoying, mostly civil, and persistent. We actually want to hear his answers, so that we can play up his habit of talking 5 miles around every question. Not only does that give us a talking point (“He never answers any questions, slick career politician, talks out of both sides of his mouth”), but the optics have been better for our side. You can be angry without being shouty.

  136. 136
    StringOnAStick says:

    Happy birthday Betty! I’m so glad I followed you here from the late and well-mourned Rumproast.

    I’ll be going to Indivisible’s townhall with no-show Senator Gardner on Friday in Denver. The description says that questions for the senator have been submitted and will be discussed with or without him, so it will be organized and orderly, and oh yes, the press will be there. I think for that last reason along it is important that as many people show up as possible. Perhaps we BJ folk should try to ID each other? I am also going to a Colorado Consumer Health Initiative event tomorrow, from 8 to 1 at the state capital. We will get training on how to lobby and then actually do some with the state reps.

    I had been doing a weekly “here’s what to do this week” email for interested friends, but a woman I met at a protest held by MoveOn is doing such a good job and is so well connected with every group it seems that I just told everyone to please sign up for her emails. Rather than badly reinventing the wheel, she’s already got a great one going so I can spend my time on actions instead of writing emails to friends. The more organized we are, the better.

  137. 137
    Seth Owen says:

    @rikyrah: So we won’t steal Iraq’s oil, we are going to steal it from the Indians instead? Well, at least there’s precedent for that.

  138. 138
    Ruckus says:


    We could rebrand the GOP as the Party of Empty Suits.

    Better would be
    Party of Snakes in Suits.
    Party of Chickenshits in Suits.

  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    @Eric S.:
    Hope your surgery is as successful as mine. OK the surgery and the six months of PT afterwards. That shoulder is now the better one, although under certain movements it makes a rather annoying clicking sound. Still, better is better.

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Does an impromptu town hall/press conference/appearance now mean a time and place when no constituents are available to make their lies and bullshit apparent, and where they will be asked no embarrassing questions?

  141. 141
    Jinchi says:


    Will these people show up for that protest I wonder?

    The people marching are going to vote if they are given something to vote for. Remember that the 3 million at the Women’s march was a huge turnout for a protest, but it’s small compared to the 80 million voters in the 2014 midterm election (which had the lowest turnout in decades).

    The trick is both motivation, which the left now clearly has, and opportunity, which requires there to be candidates on the ballot in your district. Democrats have been particularly bad about putting candidates on the ballot for offices they “can’t win” and that ends up affecting races up and down the ballot.

  142. 142
    ruemara says:

    @rikyrah: Les incompetents, truly.

    Happy Birthday, Betty. Have a great day of happy chickens, fine dining, good husbanding and wine, of course.

  143. 143
    ruemara says:

    @Jinchi: Voting access. This wasn’t all about being motivated to vote. This was about voter suppression tactics that worked. I’d love to see people talk about that as much as they talk about “give me someone to vote for”. Because it doesn’t matter how motivated you are and if Jesus Chomsky Sanders is on the ballot, when you don’t have the right paperwork and you’re being blocked from voting.

  144. 144
    Miss Bianca says:

    @StringOnAStick: Wow, that sounds like fun – I’m almost tempted to drive up to Denver just for that!

  145. 145
    SgrAstar says:


    The one at the WH blew me away. He’s bounding up the steps to paw the Obamas while Melania is barely out the car. Then he rushes inside ahead of everyone, so eager to make the guard salute him. Was not the president yet, except in his mind.

    That one really threw me. He is a cruel, careless man. That video almost made me feel sorry for Melania…but I’ve gotten over that now. :(

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